2007-12-31

 

The Young Astrologer

When I was much younger, I had great interest in the occult and paranormal. When I was 13, for Christmas of 1979, I asked for and got a book called The Compleat Astrologer. I wanted this book because it showed you how to draw up a horoscope as well as providing interpretation guides and planetary tables from 1905 until 1979 - which put it far ahead of any other books on astrology which simply were describptive, but didn't show you how to do it hands on.

I have no crystal ball and I have long dismissed divination, however let us see what the new year brings forth. And may it be good for all of us.



Images scanned by me but remain the property and copyright of Bantam books.

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2007-12-29

 

End of Year Random Photo Blog

Some soccer action from Tania this past summer.
For some reason they have difficulty painting straight lines in Montreal. This is on Brunswick, just across from the Fairview Shopping Centre. You can see the satellite shot here
Some Rose Hip found growing along Lac St. Louis.
A morning glory found growing among some purple flowers in Parc Summerlea along Lac St. Louis. Google map here.
Some soccer action from Jason this past summer.
Jason and a horsehhoe crab when we were in New York in August.
Giraffe's have blue tongues as can be seen.
This is an edible mushroom. However it has no flavour, so there is little point.
A mother duck and her ducklings. Taken in Parc Summerlea along Lac St. Louis.
Tania and my goddaughter.

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2007-12-28

 

Retro meme

I was tagged by Tin-Tin and I have to tag some people later. The instructions are:

1. Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 keywords given below:
  • family,

  • friend,

  • yourself,

  • love,

  • anything you like.


  • 2. Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

    3. Don’t forget to read the archived post and leave comments.

    Hmmm ... don't understand the comment part. Am I supposed to leave comments on my posts? I think I will wait for clarification from Tin-Tin.

    Who to tag? Who to tag?

    Last time I tagged people it was MOI, KayMac, breal, tin-tin, and Barbara.

    So this time I will tag: Ingrid, Carra, Tena, Cavalock, and Freckled One.

    If I didn't tag you and you want to play, please feel free to appropriate this meme.

    Image nabbed from here.

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    2007-12-27

     

    The Iconoclast and the School Pageant

    Last Friday, I went to see a Christmas pageant at my kids' school. It was less a pageant and more the kids singing some Christmas carols. They were divided into grades 1&2, 3&4, and 5&6 with two groups of each.

    My kids go to a private school and wear a uniform. I hate the uniform. Sofia likes it, so does my dad. They both feel that it gives the kids more order and discipline. Makes them more uniform and less prone class and fashion discrimination. I simply view it as a symbol of conformity and it really makes my skin crawl. Children need to learn tolerance and respect for others not because they all dress the same and behave the same way, but because it is the right thing to do, despite their differences.

    I like the education they are getting. Tania has remarked that she prefers this school to the public because she gets more work. It also seems to provide adequate challenge for Jason as well. But I still can't stand the uniforms.

    Anyway, back to the pageant. As I watched the children come up to the stage and arrange themselves into their proper places, then to sing and act out in one uniform assembly, I could feel the bile boiling within me.

    I don't mind if adults choose to give up their identity and individuality - that is their choice. But I hate seeing children being coerced into conformity. I am sure the kids enjoyed it, but I wish they could have been more individual.

    Children must be lead and guided, not molded and formed.

    I felt like running around screaming at people, slapping them; turning over and smashing things.

    As usual, I had a big discussion with my dad and Sofia over this.

    Image nabbed from here.

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    2007-12-26

     

    Firm plump breasts

    If you have never prepared duck breasts, you will find them extremely firm and plump. They are also quite fatty. I managed to render over 3 cups of duck fat from breasts I prepared Monday night. (And yes, I saved the fat, much to Sofia's dismay, it is sitting in the fridge. I used some tonight when I prepared Turkey a la king - using it to sauté the onions).

    Unlike my mother, who always prepared the same traditional dishes Christmas Eve, I always try to prepare something new. Sometimes it is successful, others times it is not. I think my worst failure was an almond rice I prepared a few years ago. It called for amaretto extract - it was overwhelming and quite disgusting (sadly, we had guests that year. oops).

    This year we started with potato, pear and leek soup. Which I thought was very good. My kids disagreed.

    This was followed with crab cakes. With more disagreement from the kids.

    The main course was duck breasts in red wine (I used a very nice sweet Peruvian wine, but I think it would have been better with a dry wine, but we had none), with basmati rice and horrible frozen vegetables (I am never buying that brand again - a local store brand). Again, my kids had disagreement with me over the food. This happens most times I cook, since I am always willing to try new stuff. Last Christmas I had prepared quail and they didn’t want to eat that either. sigh.

    Dessert went better; it was trifle, with lots of fruit and jello (and some of that nice red wine). The only thing I didn't like about the trifle was the watermelon flavoured jello I had used (Jason insisted). Sorry, but watermelon flavour didn't go well with it.

    Later in the evening, we had hot chocolate with Panettone (for a decadent breakfast, substitute slices of Panettone for bread when making French Toast).

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    2007-12-25

     

    Go Tell it on the Mountain




    Love this song, but I can't find a version I like. I think it needs to be both joyful and lead by a deep powerful voice.

    So many versions are just way over produced and so far removed from the simplicity of the message and emotion at the heart of it.

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    2007-12-24

     

    We saw his star rising in the East



    Photo credit: Richard of Forbidden Planet (actually, it is just the flash off falling snowflakes at night).

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    2007-12-22

     

    Overturned!

    This is what happens when you speed on icy and snow packed roads following last Sunday's snowstorm.

    I passed two overturned cars on the Quebec side of the border (50 Km worth of highway) and one car nose first in the ditch on the Ontario side fo the border (150 Km worth of highway).

    It looks like this fellow left the highway right around this point (you can see where the snow bank on the side of the road has a path through it - slightly covered up by passing snow ploughs, but a path nonetheless).

    I was doing about 40 Km/h on the highway. I wanted to go faster, but the cars ahead of me kept me going slower.


    Photo credit: Richard of Forbidden Planet.

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    2007-12-20

     

    The Time War

    A pretty good fan made trailer of interest only to Doctor Who fans.

    Doctor Who is the world's longest running sci-fi TV show. It started in 1963 and ran until 1989. There was a made for TV movie in 1996 and the series was revived in 2005.

    The new series begins following the Last Great Time War between the Doctor's race and the Daleks which resulted in the total extermination of both races. Only the Doctor survived - leaving him a bit hard edged and moody.


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    2007-12-19

     

    On the Evolutionary Psychology of Comfort Foods

    Today is the birthday of the first International friend I ever had - a Japanese woman named Megumi. We have long since lost contact, but I still remember her.

    She was a great friend, a biologist who had a great love of philosophy as well. We used to spend hours discussing all manner of things, whether we had any knowledge about them or not. I think comfort foods would have been an interesting topic to discuss with her.

    One thing comfort foods have in common is that they are calorie dense - typically 5 or 6 calories per gram (carbohydrates and proteins are 4 calories per gram, fat is 9 calories per gram and alcohol is 6 calories per gram). And tend to be carbohydrate and fat heavy. Chocolates and nuts typically average around 6 calories per gram; chips about 5 calories per gram.

    My suspicion is that early in our evolutionary history, getting adequate sustenance was a big stress in our lives. Energy dense foods would have relieved that stress. I am not saying there weren't other stresses, but avoiding being eaten by a predator would have activate our fight or flight mechanism.

    Unfortunately, evolution has linked stress to lack of food/ energy, thus causing us to reach for potato chips even if we are adequately nourished. I am not aware of anyone who considers watermelon a comfort food or who sits down with a crate of oranges to comfort themselves (though, I have been known to gorge on clementines).

    A usual, no scientific evidence to back up my thoughts.

    Image nabbed from here

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    2007-12-17

     

    A touch of snow

    A bit of snow fell yesterday in Montreal (Ottawa too).

    I am still in Montreal.

    I have to dig out my car first.

    Then drive 200Km over icy and snow covered roads to get to Ottawa.

    I may choose not to go.

    Normally, we don't get this much snow.

    Photo credit: Richard of Forbidden Planet (and, yeah, that is my car in the driveway)

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    2007-12-14

     

    Standing room only?

    Since time immemorial, people have thought the world to be over populated, as can be illustrated from these two ancient snippets:
    "There was a time when the countless tribes of men, though wide dispersed, oppressed the surface of the deep-bosomed earth, and Zeus saw it and had pity and in his wise heart resolved to relieve the all-nurturing earth of men by causing the great struggle of the Ilian war, that the load of death might empty the world." - Cypria or Kypria, 7th or 8th century BCE. (estimated world population 75 million)

    "What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint), is our teeming population: our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly supply us from its natural elements; our wants grow more and more keen, and our complaints more bitter in all mouths, whilst Nature fails in affording us her usual sustenance. In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race;" - Tertullian, Treatise on the Soul, 2nd or 3rd century CE. (estimated world population between 200 and 300 million)

    I tend to disagree.

    Just for fun, I pulled up numbers on population density in various cities around the world. And then I calculated how much area would be required to house the world's population (I used 6,500,000,000) at a similar density - effectively a mega city.

    CityPopulation Density (persons per Km2)Equivalent area to house world population (Km2)
    Montreal44391,464,293
    Toronto39721,636,455
    New York10,456621,652
    Manhattan25,846251,489
    Washington D.C.9015721,020
    Portland, Oregon41991,547,987
    Singapore63691,020,568
    Hong Kong63521,023,299
    London12,331527,126
    Paris24,783262,276

    The Earth has an estimated land surface area of 148,939,100 Km2 or two orders of magnitude more area than required to support the current world population at densities equal to that in Montreal (I assure you that Montreal has plenty of green space and trees).

    In other words, a mega city as densely populated as Montreal would occupy 1% of the world's land surface. At population densities of Paris or Manhattan, such a mega city would occupy less than 0.2% of the world's land surface.

    If we lived in a mega city with a population density equal to Toronto, the entire world's population would fit in Indonesia.

    If we lived at densities found in New York City or London, the world population could squeeze into France.

    If we wanted to live at densities found in Paris or Manhattan, the world population could comfortable fit in Colorado or the United Kingdom (if you included Ireland, my apologies to the Irish who consider themselves separate).

    The rest of the world would be empty. There would be no people.

    At such densities, can you imagine the reduction in pollution, the savings in energy? Economies of scale would be fantastic. I have a house in Montreal. It is a modest home sitting on 6000 sq. ft (600 m2) of land.

    If such a mega city was organized as a circle and the population density was similar to Montreal, it would have a diameter of 1366 Km. If you lived in the centre of the city, it would be a maximum of 683 Km to any point. Taking a bullet train, you could reach any point in less than 3hrs (assuming a direct run).

    I would assume public transit would be very good and cars would be almost non-existant, since there would be no need for them.

    Scientists (and people) tend get excited with exponential growth curves. However, exponential growth curves never are, they tend to be S curves - there is slow initial growth, followed by rapid expansion, followed by slowed growth.

    Thoughts to think.

    Population and land stats taken from Wikipedia (I also could have used the CIA World Fact Book - which is a fantastic resource). I used Wikipedia because it already did the population density calculations for me.



    Of course, housing people is only one part of it. Feeding them is another. I cannot find consistant information on land required for food production to sustain one person (quelle surprise as people pull out numbers to support their own agendas). I have come up with a range from 0.2 hectares per person to 1.2 acres per person. This works out to between 2000 m2 and 4856 m2 per person.

    Which works out to requiring between 13,000,609 Km2 and 31,565,480 Km2 for agricultural land. Or somewhere between 9% and 22% of the world's land surface. Not sure if seafood fits into these figures or not (and fishing practices are horribly wasteful since by-catch - the fish caught but not wanted - is most often discarded. Greenpeace says that as much as 90% of a catch is by-catch. And we wonder why fish populations are dwindling when we discard a huge percentage of catch because it is unwanted).

    You can get stats on country agriculture and food production from here. The site lets you browse once or twice before asking you to register.



    Love the way the Earth's land area is given down to 100 Km2. Maybe we really do have such accurate measurements. I didn't bother rounding my numbers, except to eliminate decimal points, so they may indicate more precision than is warranted.

    Image nabbed from here.

    [Update 14-December-2007 @ 22:37 - change title from Is it crowded in here?]

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    2007-12-13

     

    Do it yourself genetic ancestry

    Came across an ad for a genetic ancestry kit which can be bought in Canada at either Best Buy (a big box electronics store) or The Bay (retail division of The Hudson's Bay Company - North America's oldest corporation, it has been around since 1670).

    The kit allows you to trace your maternal and paternal (males only) genetic lineage. It retails for $120 for one lineage, $240 for both.

    I am not really interested in my ancestry - I don't know them, they don't know me.

    I am more interested in progeny, though.

    A few weeks back, I was listening to a series of programs on the CBC Radio program Ideas about children begotten through anonymous sperm donations. Apparently they have all the issues of adopted children of wanting to know who their biological father was, etc.

    The narrator was saying how some men might have tens, maybe even hundreds of offspring. I thought was just plain silly and irresponsible.

    But when the narrator said that some men might even have thousands of offspring, then I became interested. An image of being surrounded by a sea of thousands of my own offspring, white and mixed race, was very exciting to me. There was a very strong sense of comfort in that image.

    While most sperm donors don't want to know about or have any contact with their offspring, were I one, I would most definitely want to know about my kids.

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    2007-12-12

     

    Questions

    Grabbed this off dandan's page.

    An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 year old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.

    The Father asked his Son, "What is this?" The Son replied, "It is a crow".

    After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?"

    The Son said "Father, I have just now told you it's a crow".

    After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, "What is this?"

    At this time some expression of irritation was in the son's tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff, "It's a crow, a crow".

    A little later, the Father again asked his Son the 4th time, "What is this?"

    This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times 'IT IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?"

    A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary :-

    "Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated; I rather felt affection for my innocent child".

    While the little child asked him 23 times, "What is this", the Father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed.

    So..

    If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents. From today say this aloud, "I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love on me. They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today".

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    2007-12-10

     

    Half-and-half

    Borrowing and modifying an idea from Ingrid, I present 14 bits of information about myself. Seven are real. Seven are false. This is also partially inspired by Carra's post about weird things about herself.

    1. When I was into model rocketry, I used to roll my own rocket engines and make my own rocket fuel. I often had "catastrophic" engine failure.

    2. I have never been intoxicated. Not even a little bit "happy".

    3. I have had the privilege and pleasure of going out with women from every continent except Antarctica (for the obvious reason there are no indigenous Antarcticans).

    4. I volunteered one Christmas at a soup kitchen. I naively believed that such simple acts of generosity helped people over temporary setbacks until they could get back on their feet. The reality was these people were pretty wretched and needed far more than a ladled bowl of soup, a slice of turkey, some stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to get them "over the hump". It was a stark revelation that there are quite a lot of marginalized people who lead pretty pathetic lives.

    5. I have chewed coca leaves in the Peruvian Andes. You can have the same experience by chewing on a handful of fresh green leaves (just ensure you choose non-poisonous ones). Coca tea and coca flour are legally available in Peru and promoted as a source of calcium.

    6. One summer I worked as a researcher's aid on protecting electronic equipment from EMP pulses produced by atomic blasts. I read a lot that summer about the effects of atomic blasts on electronics and humans.

    7. I have (probably unwisely) taken apart smoke detectors to get at the Americium-241 to do experiments in radioactivity (primarily trying to observe tracks in a homemade cloud chamber). It is apparently quite toxic.

    8. I played the role of Judas in an Easter play on the Passion of Christ back in grade 6.

    9. One lazy Saturday I drove my friend (a Master's student at the time) around Montreal Island as we collected pH readings from various spots in Lake St. Louis (really part of the St. Lawrence, the island of Montreal just happens to lie in the middle of it).

    10. I have had chicken pox, measles and mumps, despite being vaccinated against measles and mumps.

    11. I read about 1 page per minute (paperback sized book, also depends on how "heavy" the subject matter is). So a 300 page paperback takes me about 5 hours to read (less, if I am tired. ha ha I start skipping paragraphs).

    12. I fractured my radius (or possibly my ulna - one of the bones in the lower right arm), the first time I went downhill skiing. Focussing on speed is not a smart thing for a beginner.

    13. When I was significantly younger, I once bicycled from Montreal to Ottawa (a little less than 200Km). It took 2 good effort days, was incredibly dull (cycling in the city is more varied, on the highway it is just the same for kilometres on end), it is also incredibly scary as cars and trucks zip by at 120Km/h (it is scary enough in the city at 60Km/h, but the lack of paved shoulders makes it extra scary on the highway - this was before the days of ubiquitous cell phones - which I still don't have). Not looking forward to another two long days to return, I took the bus back.

    14. It is not just my age that gets bigger as I get older, so does my waist and weight. At my heaviest I have been 145Kg (which people said I wore quite well. Erm … ok, sure if I was few inches shorter, I would have been more round, but I can assure you, nobody wears that much weight well - not even Orson Welles).

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    2007-12-07

     

    Smoking does not cause cancer.

    [Update 10-Deember-2007 @ 17:38, since this post went up 3 days ago, I have had a few search engine hits using the keyword smoking on this post. To dispel any possible confusion: the title is ironic. Smoking increases the risk and incidence of cancer. So do oral contraceptives. However, both also have positive side effects. Smoking appears to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's. Researchers are currently looking into a nicotine like compound found in a marine creature as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's (why they don't look at tobacco, I don't know - probably because it would not be politically correct). Oral contraceptives reduce the incidence of certain rare forms of cancer, however, the sum of cancers prevented and cancers caused show an overall increase in the number of cancer cases.]

    I am still in an anti-spinning mood.

    Eleven years ago or so, the Ottawa Citizen ran a front page article on the pill. The headline (in the biggest font I ever recall seeing) was something like “PILL DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER”.

    The lead-in paragraph went something like:

    After more than 30 years, women all over world can breath a collective sigh of relief as an extensive study proves that the pill does not cause cancer.

    Of course, buried deeper in the article was a short throw away paragraph stating that women on the pill do experience increased incidence of cancer, but 10 years after stopping use the rate drops similar levels as women who have never used the pill.

    I think the report all this was based on is "Evidence-guided prescribing of combined oral contraceptives: Consensus statement" from the September 1996 issue of the journal Contraceptive. However, I have never read it, although, I was tempted yesterday to pay $30 to get a copy (after subscribing to the site), but I still prefer to read it for free - so, if anyone has a copy they would like to send me, I would be much obliged. Anyway ...

    I immediately made the connection with smoking because research shows that 10 years after you quit your risk of cancer drops to levels similar to that of a non-smoker. Whenever I mention this to people they immediately respond that I am confusing two separate things and should leave the heavy thinking to the experts (ok, maybe I infer that last part).

    So, I abstract it for them: "If I tell you that consumption of substance S results in an increased incidence of cancer. Is substance S a carcinogen?"

    The answer back is always, "Yes, but I still think you are confusing things."



    For the extra curious:

    Oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast (1.3x), cervical (1.5x - 2.5x) and liver cancer. It is always referred to as "slight increase". They reduce the risk of ovarian (0.4x - 0.8x) and endometrial (0.5x) cancer. It is always referred to as "significant decrease".

    Lung cancer rates among non-smokers is 0.5%. Heavy smoking increases the risk 20-fold to 10% (or spun the other way, heavy smokers have a 90% chance of NOT developing lung cancer).

    Demographic studies show that people over the age of 90 have a 1 in 9 chance of developing lung cancer. The moral? Living to extreme old age is a greater risk factor for lung cancer than smoking.



    I love information, it can be presented in so many interesting ways and still be accurate.

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    2007-12-06

     

    Spinning in my grave

    As someone who likes his information unadulterated, I am often annoyed by news reporting, political rhetoric and spin in general.

    Two nights ago I was listening to The Review on CBC radio, which featured a segment on plasticizers from the The Current earlier that day.

    Like most "in-depth" reporting, it was not. It was primarily about presenting one side of a story and making it as sensational as possible. Of course, it helps to bring in some experts from McGill University.

    There were two things about the report that really annoyed me because the information was disingenuously presented.

    The first was about how not much research has been done on the biodegradation of plasticizers. Ok, then we should do more research. A group from McGill did an experiment in which they put microbes into a container with plasticizer and watched what happened. As expected, the organism broke down the plasticizer, but then, (oh, shock!) they discovered the microbes were dying from compounds the plasticizer had been broken down to.

    This is no surprise. The by-products of the microbes metabolizing the plasticizer are waste. Waste is excreted by the organism because it serves no purpose and is likely toxic. Consequently as the food supply dwindles and the waste products (toxins) increase, it is no surprise to see the organisms dying.

    This happens with fermentation. The yeast will stop fermenting once the alcohol content reaches about 17% because the alcohol (metabolic waste product) is toxic to the yeast and inhibits its growth.

    Something similar would happen with humans. Put a bunch of people into a sealed room and study what happens to them as they consume oxygen (tentatively determined to be beneficial to humans). After a few hours, you would notice that the room is filled with carbon dioxide (what we convert the oxygen to) which is toxic to humans. Would we then conclude that while oxygen is safe, what we metabolize it to is not? Consequently, we should eliminate oxygen because the metabolized by-product is toxic?

    The second gripe came from the hormone like mimicry (notably oestrogen) of plasticizers. A study done down river showed that up to a third of male fish (of a particular species) were exhibiting female characteristics, which may be caused by the use of plastics. I have a simpler answer - oral contraceptives. A lot of the oestrogen and progestin consumed by women is simply peed out. I think this is a much more likely source of oestrogen like compounds than looking at plastics. Unfortunately, it is not politically correct to question oral contraceptive use and effects - unless it shows in a positive light.

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    2007-12-04

     

    Richardology - The keys to the meme

    Last week I invited people to participate in playing a meme for me.
    I was very happy with the responses. The responses far exceeded my expectations. I had expected them to, overall, be polite and pleasant, but I was

    I am not going to respond to each and every one of them (as I normally do), except to say a heartfelt thank you for all who played and gave such awesome responses.

    I will, however, pick one item from each and respond or comment on it:

    breal: Richard needs to (feels the need to) form some kind of conclusion/assign meaning to most things.

    Most definitely. I find it very, very hard to just accept things. To know is not enough, I must understand.

    carra: I want to amuse Richard.

    I loved this response. It made me smile. I definitely need to be amused more, but you might find me a difficult person to amuse – I am quite solemn and stoic in person.

    tena: If I were alone in a room with Richard, I would ask him to tell me what he fears more than anything.

    I fear falling. I absolutely hate the sensation that rises from your stomach up through your chest. I do not go on roller coasters and do not expect to see me bungee jumping or parachuting.

    Ingrid: I want to hug Richard.

    Ingrid is an incredibly warm and effusive person whose smiles and hugs instantly make me feel welcome.

    elvina: I cherish Richard.

    (Elvina wins first prize for making me blush) I am pleased to have been able to have such a strong effect on someone half way across the world whom I have never even met.

    kaymac: I think Richard should write that book.

    I would love to, but I am not sure I have a story to tell. I find that my writing tends to be more about expressing an emotion or feeling or mood rather than about telling a complete story from start to end.

    MOI: Richard needs to feel untied to life's ordinary hum drum maintenance activities and feel the freedom to follow a few of his dreams.

    I definitely feel bound to the petty humdrumness of daily life and wish I could decouple myself from it.

    bee: Richard needs companion.

    We all do, though, perhaps, my needs are somewhat different from most. This may stem from having grown up in a small family (two parents and two siblings) without an extended family around. Even in the whole world, I only have two cousins, two aunts, one grandmother and 4 nieces and nephews (that is blood family, if I include Sofia's extended family, then I have tons).

    tin-tin: I want to meet Richard.

    There is no quston that I would like to meet my fellow bloggers - they are such an interesting and diverse group.

    anonymous: When I think of friendship, I think of Richard.

    (I know who anonymous is.) Anonymous has been one of my very favourite friends for many, many years and is not a blogger.

    I also asked: Which of these words would you use to describe me?

    (I am not responsible for the meanings someone assigned to them. I suppose we can debate endlessly whether the symbolic meanings attached are accurate or not, but ... that just misses the point of this having been a fun exercise.)

    1. Moon - The one you miss.
    2. Sky - The one you want to share your problems with.
    3. Sand - The one you don't care about.
    4. Snow - The one you love most.
    5. Road - Best Friend.
    6. Water - The one you hate.
    7. Fire - Dream Lover.

    breal: road
    carra: moon
    tena: sky
    Ingrid: road
    elvina: water
    kaymac: sky
    MOI: sand
    bee: snow
    tin-tin: moon
    anonymous: declined or forgot to answer

    Image nabbed from here.

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    2007-12-03

     

    Bumps

    Went to visit my goddaughter yesterday. She is 10. As I picked her up to give her a hug, I noticed that she had two bumps.

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    2007-12-01

     

    Men Exaggerate How Big They Are

    I find it really irritating how many guys over estimate their size.

    I am between 183 and 184 cm (a little over 6 feet tall), yet, other men constantly estimate me at being at least 6'2" (sometimes even 6'4").

    "No, I'm just over 6 feet," I reply.

    "Bah! Impossible!" they splurt back, "I'm 6 foot. You're at least a good 2 inches taller than me."

    Then we do that whole measuring thing where it is obvious I'm at least 2 inches taller. Thus confirming I am at least 6'2".

    No, I reply back, you are 5'10".

    I know how tall I am. I have measured myself many, many times. I am always just over 6 foot.

    I am a little taller if I am wearing New Balance joggers, but height is measured without shoes. This is really pervasive, because guys as tall as me, insist they are 6'2".

    The moral of this is that guys add at least 2 inches to their size.

    Image nabbed from here.

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